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This blog is predominately about camera trapping in California. We camera trap to save our souls and to teach primary school students about biology and conservation. We will also touch on other camera trapping news and musings, sets from afar, mediocre herpetology, sucky birding, and other natural history discussions.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Bobcats Week 1

When I saw the two bobcats while checking cams a couple of weeks back I wrote that it may have been a pair, but after seeing some new camera trap images and a comment by Aviva R. I am now leaning towards mother with a kitten from last year. Bobkittens (cubs?) may stay with their mother right up until the time that she is going to birth a new litter.

Do you guys have any thoughts on the pair vs. mom/kitten?

Here are two successive shots of two different bobcats the night I placed the camera.  You can tell they are different cats by their ear shapes and overall body sizes.  The little one lead the way.

Last years kitten?


The IR flash is harsh, so I was hoping I got some day time photos of them too and was in luck when one of them walked by the camera again the next morning coming from the same direction that they did the previous night.

Four days later a bobcat made three separate appearances.  Once at 11:48, again at 16:34 and a third time at 18:03.  I am not sure if all images were of the came bobcat or whether they were multiple cats.  I had my camera set to take pictures every 30 seconds so it is conceivable that both cats were together and I just missed the second animal.  If the second animal passed the camera under 30 seconds after the first, no image would have been taken.  I adjusted the camera to take pictures more often in the future.

Sniff sniff

Stay tuned for more bobcats from week 2 at this set.


  1. Check out the bars and spots on the forelegs to distinguish the cats. The first picture is definitely a young of the year -- the ears look too big for its head. That's my 2 cents worth.

  2. I agree with the Codger. As far as I know adult bobcats barely ever come together (I have only witnessed it once) and them traveling together would really only be limited to the brief period of mating. I have however seen juvenile bobcats stay with their mom for a long time, to a point where it could be hard to distinguish adult from cub. Also just my two cents...

    Btw, I graduated from UCSC in 2007. I loved it and looked for Bobcats quite a lot. Only saw three all near Moor Creek.

    Just got my first Mountain Lion camera trap shot though in Aptos!

    Good luck with everything. Looking forward to more.

  3. Thanks for reading Sebastian. I actually saw your cougar photo the other day when my GF came home from a craft fair at work and told me that there was a great photographer selling prints and one of them was a camera trap photo. I was actually planning on linking to it sometime soon in the future when we get a weekly Bay Area photographer segment up and running. Sounds like you have quite the set-up going. I would love to check it out sometime even if it is not in the field.

    When I first saw the pair in person I thought it may be mates, only because while one was smaller they were relatively similar size and the smaller one did not have obvious juvenile features. But when I saw that first IR image I thought the exact same thing the Codger did, "Those ears and paws are way too big for that body" and became convinced that my initial thoughts were off base. So I am firmly in the same camp as you guys, but appreciate the feedback.

    Now on to trying to do a better job IDing individuals from leg spots

  4. Hey Jake,
    I remember your GF telling me about how facinated you are with camera traps. Small world...

    My set-up is pretty pre-fabricated, I have no knowledge what so ever about 'hacking' your own equipment. The set-up as I am sure it does for you takes the longest (I generally use two flashes). You are more than welcome to take a look at it. Its on a friends property right now so I'll have to wait till I take it down but I was planning on moving it soon anyway. My email is sebastian@pumapix.com, if you don't mind I would prefer to exchange info over that.

    Thanks man and keep up the great work,